Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FLANAGHAN, James Winright, lawyer, born in Gordonsville, Virginia, 5 September 1805. In 1814 his parents removed to Kentucky, where he received a limited education, engaged in mercantile pursuits, and was a justice of the peace for twelve years. He was a member of the circuit court of Breckinridge County from 1833 till 1843, when he removed to Harrison County, Kentucky, and after spending one year settled in Henderson, Rusk County, Texas where he was the first to sell merchandise. He also became interested in cotton planting; He was a member of the state House of Representatives in 1851'2, and of the state senate in 1855'6. In 1857 he was a presidential elector, and a delegate to the peace congress of 1861. He was a member of the State constitutional conventions of 1866 and 1868. In 1869 he was elected to congress for the state at large, and in that year he also held the office of lieutenant governor. He was elected to the U. S. Senate as a Republican, serving from 1870 till 1875, and was a member of the committees on mines and mining, and post offices, and chairman of the committee on education and labor. After his service he retired to his farm near Longview, Texas, and occasionally appears in court, notwithstanding his advanced age. He was an "oldline Whig" before he united with the Republican Party. His son, Webster, politician, born in Cloverport, Breckenridge County, Kentucky, 9 January 1832, was admitted to the bar in 1851, and became interested in politics, holding important local offices.
At the beginning of the civil war he was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers in the Confederate service. In 1865 he was appointed judge of the 5th judicial district of Texas. He was elected to the State constitutional convention in 1869, and two years afterward became lieutenant governor of the state. He was chairman of the delegation to the Republican convention which met in Philadelphia in 1872, and served as member of the Texas senate till 1875, when he represented his district in another constitutional convention, thus assisting in the formation and adoption of two state constitutions. In 1880 he was a Texas member of the • 'Grant guard" at the Chicago convention. The civil service was brought under discussion, and when Mr. Barker, from Massachusetts, declared that certain ones had an "eye to the offices," Mr. Flanaghan denounced the resolution, and asked, "What are we here for!" which question was received with great applause, and brought him prominently into notice for the time. In 1884 he was a member of the Chicago convention, and supported General Arthur, who appointed him collector of internal revenue for the 4th district of Texas in 1884, which office he held one year. Since then he has devoted himself to his stock farm, and has introduced fine horses and Jersey cattle into the state. From 1876 till 1880 he was president of the Henderson and Overton railroad.
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